1832-33 SECOND GREAT AWAKENING. 180+pp Manuscript Diary from the Troy Conference of Methodists. Superb!
1832-33 SECOND GREAT AWAKENING. 180+pp Manuscript Diary from the Troy Conference of Methodists. Superb!
1832-33 SECOND GREAT AWAKENING. 180+pp Manuscript Diary from the Troy Conference of Methodists. Superb!
1832-33 SECOND GREAT AWAKENING. 180+pp Manuscript Diary from the Troy Conference of Methodists. Superb!
1832-33 SECOND GREAT AWAKENING. 180+pp Manuscript Diary from the Troy Conference of Methodists. Superb!
1832-33 SECOND GREAT AWAKENING. 180+pp Manuscript Diary from the Troy Conference of Methodists. Superb!
1832-33 SECOND GREAT AWAKENING. 180+pp Manuscript Diary from the Troy Conference of Methodists. Superb!
1832-33 SECOND GREAT AWAKENING. 180+pp Manuscript Diary from the Troy Conference of Methodists. Superb!

1832-33 SECOND GREAT AWAKENING. 180+pp Manuscript Diary from the Troy Conference of Methodists. Superb!

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It is so unusual to come across truly substantial, primary material relevant to the Second Great Awakening, so this was a real pleasure to acquire. The present diary has everything we would want. 

It is descriptive of the activities and ministry of the period, including details of spiritual outpourings at camp-meetings and almost nightly prayer meetings in the local community. She has a dream that a river of fire descends on her community and in the fire she hears angels crying, "Glory, glory, glory." 

It is historically specific, providing details relevant to both major and minor Methodist preachers of the fabled Troy Conference during the Second Great Awakening. This was the Conference James Caughey would begin preaching in in the year, well, 1832. So the timing is perfect as well. We have detailed accounts of the lives, preaching, and experiences of Tobias Spicer, Samuel Eighmy, J. G. Whitford, and many more. This is in addition to detailed accounts, nowhere else published, of the camp-meetings at Essex, etc. 

And finally, it is deeply spiritual. Our diarist has evident, specific, detailed experiences with God and frequently uses the language of the revivalists of the time, "baptised in the Holy Spirit," "a blessing," "the power of God was present," etc. 

A true joy to read. 

The diary belongs to a young, female Methodist, one Mary Ponier [?]. Born July 7, 1810, she is 22 years of age at the beginning.  

The diary itself is over 180 pages and is legible and substantive from beginning to end. It appears to be generally complete, though lacks a binding and perhaps a leaf between the detached portions of the block. There are all sorts of innovative spellings, some of which we have retained below. Please also note that we have not read the entire diary . . . but the below is consistent with the content all the way through. 

Written during the height of the local revivalism in the Troy Conference, the diary includes material regarding Camp-Meetings [Essex. Charlotte, and more], Protracted Prayer Meetings, Spirit Baptism, Dreams from God, Battling the Devil, the Leadership of Women, Hymns, Bro. Andes; Brother J. Squires; Brother Eighmy; Elder Spicer [Tobias Spicer]; Brother Gibb, C. Pomeroy [Camp-meeting preacher and minister at Galway, VT]; Brother Esty; Brother Whitford [Rev. J. G. Whitford]

The content on Tobias Spicer is of special interest.  As a Presiding Elder, he had a significant influence in the Troy Conference and was a leading voice during the Second Great Awakening. He was also one of the first to interact with the Mormons / Latter Day Saints and record his accounts of their meetings, their angelical visitation professions, [which, coincidentally, occurred in 1833] 

Additionally, the oft-mentioned Bro. J. Squires is likely one and the same Andrew Jackson Squires who appears in the diary of Joseph Smith in November of 1835. Andrew Jackson Squires often went by Jackson and seems to be the same gent. He appears in Smith's diary as one who had been a faithful preacher, but then came to Smith with a letter confessing he had fallen into temptation, was relieved and then reinstated with the LDS. This region was a hot spot for early Mormon activity, and many of their earliest preachers were brought over from the Methodist and Baptist clergy. 

Just a sampling of the contents include:

"Last Sabbath, Br. J. Squires preached from I Peter, Chapter 1, Verse 21. In the evening they held a prayer meeting at the school house. They had a good time (as I was informed), for I did not attend myself. O what a change God has wrought among the people of this place for a year past - when I joined the Methodist there was but two young persons in the class excepting myself. But now the scene is changed, for there is a number of young people in the Society at present - a short time after I experienced religion I went to visit cousin S. A. Winans, and stayed with her over night - before we went to bed we kneel'd down and prayed earnestly to God to commence a revival of religion in our neighborhood - after I went to bed I dreamed that I was in the lower part of the house, alone by myself, when I heard a voice calling to me on the South side of the house. I stept out of doors and look'd towards our house, which is a few rods south of Aunt Winan's house, and I beheld a stream of fire descending from the Heavens to the Earth, and in the stream of fire I distinctly heard as I thought a voice crying glory, glory, glory - I immediately awake under the impression that God had heard my prayer, the petition that I first put before him. I returned to rest and firmly believe'd that God would in his own due time, work out a glorious reformation among the people of this neighbourhood - and blessed be the name of God for the good work which is in our Town, many a soul has lately been released from the powers of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of his dear Son, and there is a prospect that some others will soon come out from the world, and enlist under the banners of our heavenly King." etc. 

"I attended a prayer meeting at the schoolhouse and had a good time, a Congregationalist gentleman happen'd to meet with us, he took an active part in the meeting and did not appear to be disturbed on hearing females speak and pray in publick. I think they are not so rigid in that particular as they were formerly - last fall I attended a prayer meeting that was opened by a Congregationalist, a short time before the meeting was closed I arose and said a few words, after that the above mention'd gentleman (the one that open'd the meeting) arose and spake as follows, yes, as our Sister says, we have a great reason to be thankful to God, and to praise and adore his holy name for the good work which he has wrought among us of late, but this was in a time of Reformation, and people frequently express differently feelings then from what they do at other times, however I do think that this was the case with Mr. B. for he and his family have always been friendly to the Methodists . . . they have attended a number of our meetings and appeard pleasd in listening to the prayers and exhortations of the women as well as those of the men."

"Yesterday, Bro. Andes preached to us, he endeavourd to explain the 23 psalm, he did not seem to have much fredom i speaking, I fear the children of God were not fervent enough in their prayers for him, Lord revive thy work in every heart."

"I believe the Lord is about to do a great work in my heart, for I have lately had such views of myself as I never have had before, and Oh! what debth of pride and unbelief I have discovered in my heart, Lord thou who hast let me see myself in some degree as I am, and hath also convinced me of the exceeding sinfulness of my nature, draw near at this time I pray thee and Sanctify my soul, for thou knowest, O God, how ernestly I desire to be free'd from every sin and wholly swallowed up in the Ocean of Redeeming Love."

"There is much excitement amongst the people about that fatal disease, the Cholera, it has enter'd the United States, but as yet there has been but very few cases among Americans, and it is hopeful that the prayers of Christians will prevail, so that God will prevent this dire disease from sweeping America as it has the old Country. In Montreal there has been hundreds and thousands swept off the stage of action by this disorder, the city of Montreal lies in the British Provinces, several miles north of here."

"The Cholera is abating very fast in Montreal, and we have reason to be thankful that we have been spar'd whilst so many of our fellow mortals were dayly droping into the grave, for there was rising of a hundred died a day in the above mentioned city."

"Last Saturday and Sabbath I attended a quarterly meeting at Waybridge, heard Elder Spicer preach twosermons, his text Sabbath day was from Luke 20 Chap 13. verse 4. One young lady ( an acquaintance of mine) was converted at this meeting, she went there gay and thoughtless but returned home with the Love of God in her heart, O that she may prove faithful to God until the hour of her dissolution shall come, and then she will be received into his Kingdom of glory in where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest."

"For a week past I have had to strive much against secret sin, but the Lord is I believe about to give me a victory over the inbred sins of my heart, I want to know that all the words of my mouth and all the meditations of my heart are acceptable in the sight of God and my redeemer, and then I shall be perfectly happy."

"The cholera has lately entered Vergennes, a Vilage about six miles from here, and hath hurried some of its inhabitants from the shores of time into that eternal world from whence no traveler returns [with detailed accounts of deaths]"

"About a week ago I was very much oppres'd with heaviness of spirit, but the week following I received a large manifestation of the presence and favour of God, blessed be God for the repeated blessings that my unworthy soul has received from his bountiful hand, last Sabbath our class met in the forenoon for prayer meeting, our God was with us and we all god blest in doing our duty, in the afternoon Istarted to go to a prayer meeting which was to be held at W. M. Brydia's, sprained my foot soon after I started and was oblidged to return home, next week I shall if my foot gets well go in company with a number of my friends to a campmeeting which is to be held at Essex a little north of here."

"Last week I attended the afore mentioned campmeeting and blessed be God I and many of my friends go our spiritual strength renewed whilst at that meeting, and we return'd under the full determination of being more active in the cause of our dear Redeemer. We had the best of preaching and powerful times in our prayer meetings, Bro Lion, one of the preachers, held prayer meetings in many different tents, and the power of God seemed to rest upon the people where ever he went. I never, no never shall forget the happy seasons I had in the prayer meetings when he and Bro. Pomeroy took the lead. They are men that are truly devoted to God, in the cause of well doing they are indeed as bold as Lions and the Lord delights to bless their labours, the people that I tented with were all young soldiers of the cross, and some of them had never attended a campmeeting before, and at first they were a little try'd with the noise, one young lady in particular said the first day the devil went with her to every meeting, and came very near making her believe that the people all acted like fools, the moment I found out what we feelings were I got her into the prayer meetings and endeavoured to get her to pray aloud, but she had not confidence to pray in the publick meetings, but told me she would prayer in our tent among ourselves, so at night before we any of us retired to rest we dropped the ***** of our tent, knelt at the family altar, and prayed to God for the blessings our souls stood in need of, and our tempted sister prayed among the rest, Satan fled from her, and she was enabled after that to bear her cross in publick, how soon the Devil quits the field when he finds we are determined to fight against him." 

"Attended a prayer meeting in our own neighbourhood and was deeply impressed of the necessity of praying for the sinners of this place, they rebel against God with a high hand and an out stretchd arm, and unless God takes them in hand and that speedily I fear they will ruin themselves, and that forever, but I hope they will realie their situation before it is eternally to late." 

"This day I have enjoy'd myself very well at the prayer meeting, heard two backsliders speak and tell the feelings of their hearts. I hope the work of the Lord is about reviving in this place - last Saturday and Sabbath I attended a quarterly meeting in Br Allen's neighbourhood. . . ." 

 "This day we had a prayer meeting, the Brothers and Sisters seem to be much united, but yet there is a lack of faith in prayer. O Lord, I pray thee to give us more faith and work out a deeper work of grace in our hearts. Sanctify us, make us holy and fully prepared unto ever good work so that we may be useful in life  . . . "

"For a few days past, Satan has strove with all his might and powers to draw my affections away from my Almighty Father, but thanks be to God he hath not succeeded in the attempt and I firmly believe that the Lord will bring me off more than conqueror in the end, altho I am many times cast down under manifest temptations, ye never have I since I espoused the cause of God been left to wander in the dark, that glorious light that guided the children of God form the Land of Bondage to the blessed Land of Canaan has thus far shone on my way and is guiding me through this wilderness world to the spiritual Canaan where the saints of God enjoy eternal rest."

"For some days past I have felt a great poverty of spirit, and Oh! such an earnest desire for the inward pure baptism of the Spirit I have never felt before . . . "

 "For some days past I ****** much upon attending the Sabbath meeting, but the rains have descended and carried off the snow and made the going so bad that I cannot very well get to it - but the Lord my Father is able and willing to give me a blessing at home if I will ask for it with a believing heart, blessed Jesus help my infirmities that I may believe with my whole heart and be filled with all the fulness of thy love; Oh glorious hope of perfect Love. It lifts the heart to things above, where my Creator dwells!"

"Yes, often has the place I offer of seasons of prayer proved as it were a Bethel to me, For my beloved hath often blest me there and filled my soul with the peace of God - Many times I have departed from the place with a renovated spirit and was perfectly prepared meet with calmness and composure the cares and perplexities of this life."

"O! The bright prospect that I have of that world of bliss, which lies beyond the tomb is greater than I can express, it often fills my soul with exulting joy, yea it causes me from time to time to fall at the feet of my beloved Redeemer and pour out my heartfelt thanks to him who hath snatched me form the jaws of death and hell and has adopted me as a child into his family and hath made me an heir to that blessed inheritance which lies in that world of glory that's far above the ethereal blue. I do indeed look forward with feelings of pleasure to the time that my pilgrimage shall be over with . . . "

"I have been attending a quarterly meeting at Waybridge, there the people took leave of the presiding Elder and circuit preachers, it was an affecting time. Brother Spicer (our Presiding Elder) . . . many wept under his sermon, the lovefeast next morning, was a precious season to many souls, for Christ came into our midst and fed us with the crumbs that fell from His table. With thankful hearts we ate the bread of eternal life, which alone could satisfy our immortal souls. I was happy in the Lord, yet I felt solemn at the thought of parting with Elder Spicer, it was under his preaching I was convicted. He baptized me and many times has my soul been comforted while listening to his sermons. He seems to me like a spiritual Father. After we fed, he (Elder Spicer) arose and said, it does rejoice my soul to see whose tears and groans. I have witnessed some. I have taken into society some. I have baptized within the four years thats past, who now remain firm in the cause of Christ and I still hear their voices sounding forth the praises of God. O, thought I, it is the last time you will ever hear the voices of your spiritual children, and perhaps it is the last time we shall ever hear thine until we meet on the Happy shore.

After lovefeast I met Elder Spicer as he was coming out of the house, he reached me with his hand and smiling said, 'How do you do, Mary?' I was full of tears. For I could not easily repress my feelings, but I made out to say remember me and pray for me that I may endure to the end. He promised that he would and again hook hands and said to be faithful, be faithful, be faithful. Long will those words remain imprinted on my mind and long will Brother S. live in my memory."

"This day I set apart as a day of fasting and prayer that the love of God might be renewed in my heart and in the hearts of his dear children so that we may not bear his hallowed name in vain. - Glory be to his ever blessed name, I feel now his work is reviving in my soul - yes, streams, living streams that proceed from the fountain of grace are not running through my soul! Which enlivens and animates the whole and tunes all my ransomed powers to the praise of my beloved Jesus who hat bought with a great price this heavenly peace and comfort for me. I do feel thankful that I have something of a sense, though I have not half as much as I wish I had, of the great sufferings of Christ on the cross, O my soul melts into tenderness and love while thinking not only of my Savior's death and sufferings on Mount Calvary, but also of his great and mighty struggles in the garden of Olivet, that dear honour'd spot, where he fought with all the powers of darkness and achieved a complete victory over all the foul monsters of hell, all this was done for poor unworthy man, that they that believe in him and come to him in his own appointed way (that is, by the way of the cross) will be received by him and adopted into his Father's family, and he will cause them to partake of the waters of life freely . . . . but o how many still refuse to come to the fountain that is open'd, to be cleans'd from all their sin and all their acts of unrighteousness which have been done in the sight of that God that will surely come to judge the quick and the dead at the end of the world - poor souls, they are blind, they see not afar off. They see not the awful destruction that awaits the harened and obdurate sinner who holds out against all the offers of free grace. How many are the people of this  place that know thee not and turn their hearts to thee before the die is cast, before they are forever shut up in hell, where there is nought but blackness and despair."